Welcome to the 488th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from last week:
- WhatsApp is reportedly working on multi-account support. This is a big deal. For a long time, people would have had to install multiple copies of the app. It’s a feature only available on some Android phones. Press the link to find out more.
- The EU is working on the AI law as it moves to regulate AI. The AI Act is in its final stages as we speak. In general, the act places restrictions on riskier uses of the technology. One such example is limiting technology from creating illegal, racist, or biased content. The US is working on a similar bill, and we should see more widespread AI regulation over the next couple of years.
- The Google Home Script Editor is now available to all users. Its functionality is pretty simple. It allows you to create more advanced smart home automations using the Google Home platform. It’s currently available to anyone via the web app. You can do some pretty powerful stuff, but as usual, we expect the functionality to improve over time.
- Google Bard won’t appear in the EU any time soon. Europe has, more or less, temporarily banned Google’s AI tool over user privacy concerns. Ireland’s data protection commission questioned Google about all of this and didn’t get the answers they wanted from the tech giant. It’s a temporary block, however, and we expect Bard to launch in the EU eventually. On the plus side, Google rolled out AI-powered features in Search, Maps, and other apps this week.
- The Reddit controversy continued this week as many subreddits intentionally went black in protest. Unfortunately, before that even happened, the CEO issued an internal memo stating that the company would not back down. Among them was r/Android, which extended its outage until June 20th. Most of the protests on Reddit are over now, but don’t be surprised if some subreddits stay dark for a while longer.
All-in-one Lack Back Camp
Price: Free to play
Laid-Back Camp All-in-one is a game centered around the Lack-Back Camp anime universe. It is a narrative based game where you progress through the story by watching cut scenes. Among them, you build a camp, eat food and make friends within the game. It’s a surprisingly relaxing game in which there isn’t much action. You will spend most of your game time watching cut scenes from the story and playing with your camp and cast of characters. It’s a nice homage to the anime and we think fans will appreciate it.
Stippl is a travel planner that aims to do more than the average travel planner. It does the basic stuff like planning your itinerary, choosing your accommodations, and planning your budget. It also has some extras like a notes section and a sync function with the desktop version so you can continue planning on your computer. Check the right boxes and the features seem to work fine for the most part. However, like most new apps, there are some bugs that the developers still need to fix and some features may need some improvement. Overall, it’s not bad.
Static turn racing
Price: Free to play
Static Shift Racing is a surprisingly competent racing game. Players race on tracks where drifting is a big part of the mechanics. As per the norm in this genre, there is also car modification and customization. Customization isn’t as clean as some of the bigger names, but the changes are surprisingly profound. There is an open world for players to drive in, reminiscent of the older Need for Speed games, and there are plenty of races to tackle. The graphics aren’t as sharp as some competitors, but it’s so much fun to play that we’ll give it a shot.
Journal of Intuition
Price: Free / $6.99 a month / $35.99 a year
Insight Journal is, well, a journal app with built-in AI. You record your day’s events and the AI part of the diary helps you review your day by focusing on the good stuff. You can tune it to focus on other positive emotions to help you find the good in your daily life. The app also includes a collection of over 3,500 books for you to read and think about. Overall, it provides the same functions as other diary apps but does it in a way that helps you focus on specific things. It’s not bad, but it’s expensive.
Pokemon TCG live
Price: Free to play
Pokemon TCG Live has been in open beta for a long time and officially launched just last week. It offers cross-platform play between mobile devices, PC and Mac OS. In terms of mechanics, it works like most card dueling games, except with the unique Pokemon rotation. Collect cards, build a deck and duel against opponents. Apart from the core mechanics, the game also features battle passes so that you can earn extra rewards and more. Interestingly, it also supports the older Pokemon trading card game. You can import your collection from that game to this one and even use old codes from the previous game. It’s still pretty buggy, and that’s a major complaint among gamers, but we’re sure it will get better with time.
If we missed any great releases of Android apps or games, tell us about them in the comments.
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